Print Server Migration 2003 to 2012 R2

Experts, looking to migrate printers from a 2003 R2 server to 2012 R2 server. There are x64 print drivers on the 2003 server. What are the steps involved in doing this migration? The 2003 R2 server is not going to be decomissioned as of yet so we are not looking to swap IP addresses

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Cliff GaliherCommented:
Microsoft basically re-architected the entire print stack with Vista and has made incremental changes with each OS since. Internally, rendering now usually uses the XPS format (the format most people associate with Microsoft's attempt to unseat PDF) as well as Microsoft's dropping of cluster support, and other architectural changes.

All of this basically means 2003 drivers often don't work on 2012, or cause instability, crashing, and significant performance drops.

Print servers are usually one of those things you don't need (And don't want) to migrate in a traditional sense.  Install new drivers. Create a new queue. And, however you deploy printers (group policy, etc), point clients to the new server at some convenient pace (all at once, rolled out by department, OU, etc) and time. Think of it as a cut-over change, not as a migration. Queues aren't persistent and should be empty most of the time so there isn't usually a reason to migrate them.

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Add the printers to the windows 2012 making sure to include the 32bit drivers if you still have 32 bit system that will be using these printers.

The next step depend on how you deployed the printers in the prior time.  Did you use GPOs to pushprinterconnection.exe (32bit) using this GPO in printer manager to publish the printers?

If you used login scripts to deploy printers to users, My suggestion would be to use GPO and GPP to push and set the 2012 printer first, before going the removal route of the old/prior set printers.

The removal if was pushed using rundll32 printui, should be done on the shutdown script if computer based deployed or use the logout script to detach the user attached network printers.

My suggestion to avoid having issues with drivers, you should push the printers first as a computer printer, the drivers will be installed using the computer account (system) on boot.
Then you can deploy/push per user.

The above is only needed if the printers' drivers you are using are not included in the OS running on the systems..
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Windows Server 2012

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